Incorporating ecological momentary assessment into multimethod investigations of cognitive aging: Promise and practical considerations

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Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) represents a promising approach to study cognitive aging. In contrast to laboratory-based studies, EMA involves the repeated sampling of experiences in daily life contexts, enabling investigators to gain access to dynamic processes (e.g., situational contexts, intraindividual variability) that are likely to strongly contribute to aging and age-related change across the adult life-span. As such, EMA approaches complement the prevailing research methods in the field of cognitive aging (e.g., laboratory-based paradigms, neuroimaging), while also providing the opportunity to replicate and extend findings from the laboratory in more naturalistic contexts. Following an overview of the methodological and conceptual strengths of EMA approaches in cognitive aging research, we discuss best practices for researchers interested in implementing EMA studies. A key goal is to highlight the tremendous potential for combining EMA methods with other laboratory-based approaches, in order to increase the robustness, replicability, and real-world implications of research findings in the field of cognitive aging.

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Type of resources: Reading

Education level(s): College / Upper Division (Undergraduates), Graduate / Professional, Career /Technical, Adult Education

Primary user(s): Student, Teacher

Subject area(s): Life Science, Social Science

Language(s): English